December 15, 2007

Iowa Hyperion User Group

I'm currently freezing in the arctic tundra euphemistically referred to as "Des Moines, Iowa in mid-December." Des Moines just went through an ice storm. While ice storms are very sad and tragic (people die), I have to admit that ice storms make for gorgeous scenery. All the trees look like they've been dipped in glass.

I flew into Des Moines last night from Dallas (via Austin and Chicago). The temperature this morning was 12 degrees: I checked the weather in the USA Today, and it's colder right now in Des Moines than it is in Anchorage, Alaska. How stupid am I? Instead of a thick winter parka, I brought a polyester hoodie. Polyester hoodies are for staying warm during light summer breezes not The Great Ice Storm of Ought Seven.

So why am I in Des Moines on the 14th of December? I'm one of the two presenters at the Iowa Hyperion User Group. The keynote presenter (question: why am I never the keynote?) is John O'Rourke who's one of the Senior Directors of Hyperion at Oracle. He was at Hyperion for years and on a good note, made the jump to Oracle.

There are about forty people here (mostly clients, hurrah) which is impressive considering most people are surprised when they find out there's an Iowa Hyperion User Group at all. Every one of these people seems to be dressed more warmly than I am. Apparently, every one of these people is smarter than I am.

John O'Rourke's presentation is on the Hyperion Roadmap going forward. John acknowledged that the roadmap he's presenting is virtually identical to what was presented at OpenWorld. Interestingly, John isn't actually here in person. He's back East and his flight to Des Moines (via St. Louis) was cancelled. As such, he's doing the keynote via webcast. It's funny to me to think that I traveled to Iowa to watch a webcast. The audio is actually fairly high quality and the slides are coming across well. He started off by taking a poll of how many people in the room went to OpenWorld. About ten people raised their hands which, of course, John couldn't see. Giggle.

The start of his presentation covered the same overall "where does Hyperion fit into Oracle" information that we've all seen before. One thing I'm not sure I've written about before is that Oracle's new official policy is that Essbase is not a database. This is surprising considering that for the last 15 years, everyone has said that Essbase is a database. The problem is that Oracle officially only has one database (the main Oracle relational database). So what is Essbase? It's not clear, but in the EPM diagram, it's part of the Business Intelligence Foundation. I've heard it referred as a server that delivers multi-dimensional data, so I guess it's a "Multi-dimensional server?" I'll have to get my head around that one.

Oracle has three milestones for product integration with Hyperion. The first milestone is "Align and Certify" which was already in the 9.3.1 release. One of the great things that Oracle did in 9.3.1 was to remove the license server. They also did rebranding (putting the Oracle name everywhere) as part of the Align & Certify initiative. The only thing they haven't done yet is to localize Hyperion to the tons of languages that

The second milestone is "Unify & Integrate" which is due in the first and second quarters in 2008 (most likely in the Kennedy/9.5 release of Hyperion). Some of the goals of this milestone are:

- Common user interface & workspace

- Common identity management

- Common application server

- Common data integration

- Common data access & search

- Interoperability across BI foundation

- Integrated access to applications

The third milestone is "Extend & Evolve." This will bring together the Hyperion applications with some of the other Oracle products like Retek, Siebel, Oracle ERP, and so forth.

John talked about some of the goals for what they're now calling "Financial Performance Management" (Planning, HFM, Strategic Finance, etc.). One of their goals for these products is to actually increase the integration with SAP R/3 and SAP BW. This is not unexpected, but it's nice to see it in print. John also announced that the intention is to migrate users of other Oracle products (like Oracle Financial Analyzer, PeopleSoft EPM or Oracle consolidations) to the superior Hyperion products. For example, those using PeopleSoft EPM should be migrating to Hyperion Planning. They're not going to insist on it, but it's clear that future development of budgeting functionality, for instance, will be focused on Hyperion Planning. Likewise, financial consolidation will be concentrated on the Hyperion Financial Management product. Tony (Hyperion's Iowa Account Manager who's the only one in the room, from what I can tell, from Oracle) said that the migration will be a credit towards Hyperion (not a one-for-one replacement) and also pointed out that there's not a migration path. In other words, it's a reinstallation because there's no tool to migrate say, Oracle Financial Analyzer to Essbase (or HFM).

Specific goals for HFM in 9.5 and beyond include:

- 64-bit platform support

- EPM Architect enhancements

o Common calc manager (integrated with Hyperion Planning)

o Lifecycle management

- Reporting accelerator

- Delegated user management and administration

- Better Oracle platform integration including drill-back to the underlying transactional systems

Goals for Hyperion Planning in 2008 include:

- EPM Architect enhancements (same as HFM)

o Common calc manager (integrated with Hyperion Planning)

o Lifecycle management

- Planning for banking

- Delegated user management and administration

- Oracle platform integration

John talked about some of the goals for Hyperion Strategic Finance which include integration with Smart View as well as integration with Hyperion's Crystal Ball acquisition for predictive analysis. Performance Scorecard will also be integrated with Smart View.

The new Hyperion Profitability Application got mentioned again. As many have already heard, it lets a user analyze profitability (hence the catchy name) with support for cost management, activity based costing, traceability maps, and more). One thing I learned about it that I didn't know before is that the primary data store for this application is Essbase. It's currently in beta and should be released in the spring of 2008. It looks a lot like Hyperion Planning and since it uses Essbase, you can access the data with Web Analysis, Financial Reporting, and so forth.

There were a few slides on the future of Essbase which was covered in more detail at OpenWorld. John concluded with a call for people to attend COLLABORATE 2008 in April, 2008. He feels that there will be 80-100 presentations (down from the 150 previously hoped for) with 1/3 of those being delivered from Oracle and the rest from customers and partners. He also mentioned that COLLABORATE is extending a discount to Hyperion clients in the hopes of getting 1,000+ people to the conference; the price should be about $975 per person.

Someone asked about the future of Hyperion Enterprise. Per Tony, Oracle's direction is to push people to HFM. Hyperion Enterprise is going to be continued to be supported and enhanced, though, including Smart View against Enterprise in 2008.

I'm actually giving two presentations (live an in-person, unlike my snowed in buddy, John O'Rourke). One is a repeat of one I've delivered a lot in 2007, "Busting System 9 Migration Myths," which is basically an episode of Mythbusters but with all the myths being Hyperion System 9 specific. It's a lot of fun and includes video clips from the TV show. Normally, I deliver it with my fellow Mythbuster, Eduardo Quiroz (who's also the co-founder of interRel), but today, I'm flying solo since Eduardo recognized that the presentation was in Des Moines in December. My second presentation is on "Best Practices in Reporting & Analysis."

I just delivered my two presentations (with a break in the middle so I could wake up the sleeping attendees). If anyone wants a copy, send an e-mail to and specify which presentation you want. Pioneer Hi-Bred (a division of DuPont) is hosting this event and they've brought lunch in. I'm going to go hunt down some vegetarian food (oh, the irony), network a bit, and then head to the airport for the flight back to Dallas.

This may end up being my last blog entry for the year, because I don't think I have anything interesting planned for the remainder of 2007. May your 2008 be better than your 2007!


Anonymous said...


I'd like to make sure you know of ODTUG's plan to have a dedicated Hyperion track. While we cannot boast of 100's of Hyperion presentations, our plans are to have at least one Hyperion presentation for every conference time session available.

The information is below my name. Please feel free to submit an abstract or pass the word on...


Mike Riley
Vice President - Oracle Development Tools User Group (ODTUG)

The Oracle Developer Tools User Group (ODTUG) is scheduling a Hyperion technology track at the annual ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2008 Conference, June 15–19 in New Orleans. Sessions have already been selected on both Essbase technologies and OBIEE. However, ODTUG has re-opened the abstract submission process to Hyperion users. Go to for more information. Abstract deadline is February 18.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, if you need to contact me about the previous post, feel free to do so via e-mail at


Mike Riley
Vice President - Oracle Development Tools User Group (ODTUG)